At its meeting on March 14, 2017 the new Nillumbik council granted planning permission for a dwelling on Lot 2 Pigeon Bank Road, North Warrandyte.

Permission was granted despite a recommendation from the Council Officers that the application be refused.

The proposed development is contrary to the purpose of the Rural Conservation Zone and the planning regulations of the Green Wedge. It is on a block that does not a carry an automatic right to build and which is smaller than the current minimum subdivision. While there have been some developments on small lots in this zone most are on open land.

This land is heavily treed and steep. The report of the Royal Commission into the 2009 (?) bushfires recommended against housing in such inaccessible

areas because of the risk to residents. The proposed development consequently seeks to remove a very large portion of the vegetation, including over 740 trees.

This clearing will also have adverse consequences for fauna which will lose essential habitat.

This decision sets a very bad precedent. It is bad planning and indicates a worrisome lack of good governance by the new council and disregard for the planning requirements of the Green Wedge and the Rural conservation Zones within the wedge.

See Council Officers’ Recommendations here.